On the 16th of April every year, Foursquare Day is celebrated worldwide. The initiative to dedicate a full day to spread the love to Foursquare among other people and mainly businesss owners came from the community. Which is kinda amazing. Check #4sqday on Twitter to see how much is going around the world :) Why I am so passionate about Foursquare
Foursquare is a great service. It is in some ways still crossing the chasm, in that difficult area between being a geeky platform for the "savvy crowd" and becoming totally mainstream. Thanks to their early API access and as well as Twitter's, its arms expanded beyond their platform. So, everytime you geotag a Instagram pictures, yes, it is thanks to the powerful Foursquare data. But after 4 years, still many mobile users link Foursquare to "creepy" check-ins and "nonsense competitions" to accumulate mayorships and badges.
That's in my opinion one of the boomerang effects of the genius gamification strategy of Foursquare. Few other services understood that early mobile design and the incentive - ego game to gather data and traction. But it became such a powerful force, it sticked too good in all our minds, that it is still hard to see the whole big picture.
At the moment, Foursquare is mainly discovery. That's the wish of the Foursquare team and the use I would guess the older users are shifting too as well. And the future of the platform seems to get closer to mobile payments with the new connected cards option and B2B, once merchants are realising how easy is to reach customers online with an app. Yes, business owners, there is an app for that, here.
So for the fan boys and girls of Foursquare like me, the app solves lots of problems. It makes it easy to find good places to go eating, shopping, partying or hanging out that are around you in minutes, detect the ones to avoid thanks to the short and straight to the point reviews and on top you can get a couple of perks for your loyalty to a certain place. And when you travel, you can explore the city with the eyes of a local, in case you have an Internet pass or WiFi connection (please, I need Foursquare offline soon!).
Even better, it also helps you discover other city lovers with similar interests. I've made Twitter friends and I've made Foursquare friends. Other crazy foodies or other crazy clubbers or other crazy whatever. Which explains why the Foursquare community is so diverse and as well so into it. So much that they throw an annual party to spread the word and love during #4sqDay.
Foursquare Day in Berlin
To host a Foursquare Day celebration, you just need to use the Foursquare Meetup page and find out if there is anything already going on or if still there is not a celebration planned nearby. I did that on 2012 and in Berlin center I couldn't find a meetup. So I just organised it a couple of weeks in advance. It worked: around 30 Foursquarers gathered around in St. Oberholz, which I reached using the Meetup page, leveraging Plancast and on the same #4sqDay using the Twitter hashtag and location search to send them a friendly tweet inviting them. We definitely had a great time :)
For 2013 I kickstarted things a bit earlier and it payed off: not only we got 2 boxes full of swag water bottles straight from Foursquare HQ in New York because the application was sent on time, but we also got St. Oberholz really packed with at least 64 people checking in. I met a bunch of new Foursquarers who were not under my radar and of course we surprised the bartenders showing them the power of Foursquare :P
Recap of Foursquare Day Berlin 2013
Here the event: Foursquare Day Berlin 2013 on Facebook
My wish for the future? Making a Foursquare meetup twice a year or maybe 4 times a year. Why? Because I think Foursquare should be celebrated more often and it can make our online and offline connections more powerful. The meetup was so full, I couldn't really chat enough with everyone, which is a pity. Would we do it? Well, if YOU guys feel like it. So if you really want this to happen, tweet me about it.
For next year, Foursquare Day 2014 would be a great moment to get it all bigger. As mentioned, ANYONE can host a Foursquare Day Meetup and one day I also dream there will be one in each Berlin neighbourhood. But for the moment, if you feel passionate about 4sq and you want to host as well in 2014, let's do it!